Psychology of the Unconscious : a Study of the Transformations and Symbolisms of the Libido : a Contribution to the History of the Evolution of Thought

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Princeton University Press, 2001 - Psychology - 420 pages
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"This book became a landmark, set up on the spot where two ways divided. Because of its imperfections and its incompleteness it laid down the program to be followed for the next few decades of my life." Thus wrote C. G. Jung about his most famous and influential work, the one that marked the beginning of his divergence from the psychoanalytic school of Freud. In this book Jung explores the fantasy system of Frank Miller, the young American woman whose account of her poetic and vivid mental images helped lead him to his redefinition of libido while encouraging his explorations in mythology. Published in 1912 as Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido, this is a key text for the study of the formation of Jung's ideas and for understanding his personal and psychological condition during this crucial time. Miller's fantasies, with their mythological implications, supported Jung's notion that libido is not primarily sexual energy, as Freud had described it, but rather psychic energy in general, which springs from the unconscious and appears in consciousness as symbols. Jung shows how libido organizes itself as a metaphorical "hero," who first battles for deliverance from the "mother," the symbol of the unconscious, in order to become conscious, then returns to the unconscious for renewal. Jung's analytical commentary on these fantasies is a complex study of symbolic parallels derived from mythology, religion, ethnology, art, literature, and psychiatry, and foreshadows his fundamental concept of the collective unconscious and its contents, the archetypes.

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Carl Gustav Jung
Ann Casement
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About the author (2001)

Carl Gustav Jung was born in Switzerland on July 26, 1875. He originally set out to study archaeology, but switched to medicine and began practicing psychiatry in Basel after receiving his degree from the University of Basel in 1902. He became one of the most famous of modern psychologists and psychiatrists. Jung first met Sigmund Freud in 1907 when he became his foremost associate and disciple. The break came with the publication of Jung's Psychology of the Unconscious (1912), which did not follow Freud's theories of the libido and the unconscious. Jung eventually rejected Freud's system of psychoanalysis for his own "analytic psychology." This emphasizes present conflicts rather than those from childhood; it also takes into account the conflict arising from what Jung called the "collective unconscious"---evolutionary and cultural factors determining individual development. Jung invented the association word test and contributed the word complex to psychology, and first described the "introvert" and "extrovert" types. His interest in the human psyche, past and present, led him to study mythology, alchemy, oriental religions and philosophies, and traditional peoples. Later he became interested in parapsychology and the occult. He thought that unidentified flying objects (UFOs) might be a psychological projection of modern people's anxieties. He wrote several books including Studies in Word Association, Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies, and Psychology and Alchemy. He died on June 6, 1961 after a short illness.

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